It may be that Hunts luck has run out, its time for Theresa May to uphold her honour.
It is clear that this health secretary has been unpopular. Aside from being hailed as ‘excellent’ by Prime minister Theresa May, Hunt’s popularity as first a politician and second as health secretary is questionable at best. Never before has the health service found itself so united in any cause other than care, then in a universal disdain. First alleged dodgy deals , the ‘hunt effect’ and now exposed as misleading the public over his powers (perhaps a second time he has allegedly lied), it’s about time this joke ends. Patient safety is no laughing matter, nor is parliamentary misconduct.
I am of course referring to the recent court case involving Mr Hunt and Justice for Health, a group of doctors who challenged Hunt’s powers to impose a widely disputed contract. Having spent a year campaigning against the introduction of a contract so dangerous that NHS Providers said it was impossible, and department of health investigations marking as of severe concern, the court rulings last week were of no real surprise. Hunt has no power, and apparently never claimed he did (watch this video for some interesting contradicting evidence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngH-KkwTGI4)
The court ruled that Hunt has absolutely no authoritative or legal power in imposing anything, apart from seemingly a nation to his continued plethora of stone faced soundbites. Hunt may not impose this contract, but may ask Health Education England to do it in his stead. He has effectively passed his already bloody knife from along to another body, whilst attempting to clear his prints. It seems deplorable that Hunt maintained his mantra of power until taken to court, then denied it all.
You could call it lying. Others call it cowardice. Some would say unprofessional. Neither are suitable attributes of public office. I shall be clear in saying that he has displayed the utmost intransigence in such behaviour, first lying then passing responsibility when placed in danger. Like a school bully caught next to a crying child, he has pointed his finger elsewhere whilst grinning and nursing his knuckles.
The end result of these court findings is now that doctors may reject the contract with their own employer. One would hope that this dangerous contract can now be redrawn, with Hunts eyes now firmly planted on turning public opinion against consultants as he pushes father his dangerous experiment of an unaffordable 7 day NHS. The junior doctors may win yet in securing a new chance to negotiate a new contract based on evidence and within the confines of current funding.
So will Hunt walk free? Given his ability to skip punishment so far, it seems that Hunt is untouchable, but luck runs out. Having now been shown to have no power in imposing his contract, it seems that he has misled both parliament and the nation. Both require addressing, but the former requires that he submit his resignation for misconduct. If this does not happen then it is clear that a public servant has lied to parliament and misled the nation whilst in office, on taxpayer salary, likely endangering patients and the NHS in general. Quite an epitaph.
This cannot stand. If Ms May does not terminate her ‘excellent ‘secretary, we will see a parliament free to lie at the publics’ desecration. We will return to a time of feudalism where the ruling classes are held to nothing to the population. Perhaps this is what Hunt wants, but his bloody knife will be there for history to see. Squarely in the gut of the NHS, 1958-2016. RIP.
In my personal opinion this failed marmalade exporter has produced enough useless tosh. In a time of evidence and people power, Hunt can no longer hide behind parliamentary walls and empty threats. Hunt has ignored and cherry picked evidence to try an justify a dangerous contract he cannot impose, and hidden when shown his weakness. Whilst junior doctors continue a battle against a contract that threatens to overwhelm a trembling NHS, this is one less cancer we need to deal with.
Disclaimer: I never wrote this article, I never claimed to write this article and I’m surprised that anyone thought that I ever did.